The first American commercial flight aboard the turbulent Boeing 737 Max departed Miami for New York’s LaGuardia Airport on Tuesday morning, nearly two years after the plane was grounded worldwide.
Max was banned in March 2019 after prof The Lion Air crash in October 2018 in Indonesia killed 189 people He followed after five months The crash of Ethiopian Airlines killed the 157 people on board.
American Airlines Flight 718 left Miami International Airport at around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. The airline plans to fly Max from Miami to New York and back until January 4, before more routes are added.
In September, an investigative report from the House of Representatives blamed the incidents directly Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration “To their frequent and dangerous failures.”
The accidents were a horrific culmination of a series of flawed technical assumptions by Boeing engineers, lack of transparency on the part of Boeing management, and grossly inadequate oversight by the Federal Aviation Administration. Congress report said.
Federal Aviation Administration Director Steve Dickson, who flew the plane in September, CNBC Last month, he was “100 percent confident” in the re-certified 737 MAX.
However, not all passengers share this confidence. A new Reuters / Ipsos poll showed 57 percent of Americans said They were unlikely to fly in a Boeing 737 Max when they were told the plane’s history.
The airline said passengers on all US MAX flights will be given advance warning, with an option to rebook.
“Our promise to any customer who flies on us is that if you board a 737 MAX and don’t want to fly, we’ll let you change,” said David Seymour, chief operating officer at American Airlines. .
Mike Urban, who flew to Miami from Baltimore specifically to take the first flight on the re-certified plane, said that restoring the public’s confidence may take some time.
“I think this will take a long time,” he told NBC News. “I think people will regain confidence eventually. It might take some rebranding of the plane as well.”
Boeing continues to face dozens of wrongful death claims by families of victims over safety issues that led to the accident. Families of Ethiopian plane crash victims urge Regulators have found the aircraft stopped after the disclosure of new information contained in a Senate Trade Committee report released Friday A series of failures In Boeing’s efforts to recertify.
“It’s outrageous that American Airlines has in fact rewarded Boeing for the corrupt and disastrous operation that led to the Max plane,” said Yalina Lopez-Lewis, whose husband Antoine Lewis died in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines.
Earlier this month, Brazilian airline Gol became the first airline in the world to fly the re-certified aircraft.
United Airlines plans to reintroduce the Max starting February 11, and Southwest, the largest operator of the 737 MAX, is set to begin using the aircraft again “no later than the second quarter of 2021,” according to a notice on its website.
“We will never forget the lives lost in the two tragic crashes that led to the decision to suspend operations,” Boeing CEO David Calhoun said. He said in a statement in November. “These events and the lessons we learned as a result have reshaped our company and focused our attention more on our core values of safety, quality and integrity.”
American Airlines has ordered 76 MAX aircraft to add to its existing fleet of 24 737 MAX aircraft.